Joe Thomas encouraged by Hue Jackson hire, 'excited' about Browns' direction

Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas is encouraged by the hirings of Sashi Brown and Hue Jackson, but he is more focused on his family than his career at the moment.

"I like Hue and I'm excited about the direction of the team," Thomas said Saturday. "We'll see how free agency and the draft goes. Other than that I'm not really thinking about my career. I'm just enjoying the family and the offseason."

Thomas said he and Brown, the team's new director of football operations, have had good talks, and that the hire of Jackson as head coach excited him.

Brown said he he talked with Thomas about the team's plans to win a few days after a disappointing 2015 season ended and left the discussion confident that Thomas believed in the team's plan.

When the '15 season ended with a loss to Pittsburgh, the perennial Pro Bowler and future Hall of Famer for the first time said he might not want to finish his career with the Browns in light of the team's constant change in coaches and approach. He has three years left on his contract, so Thomas would have to ask for a release or trade to play elsewhere, something rebuilding teams often do with veteran players who have served them well.

Thomas cautioned at the same time not to over-dramatize the situation.

His statements Saturday are positive indicators. Thomas will head to Hawaii next week for the Pro Bowl.